UPDATE 1-Coldwater Creek sees surprise Q3 loss; shares plunge

Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:22pm EDT

* Sees Q3 loss at $0.14-$0.19/shr vs est EPS $0.03

* Sees Q3 sales at $225-$230 mln vs est. $278.5 mln

* Shares fall 32 percent

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Coldwater Creek Inc CWTR.O forecast a surprise quarterly loss as the women's apparel retailer's fall merchandise assortment did not fare to its expectations and its key product categories failed to satisfy customers, sending its shares down as much as 32 percent.

For the third quarter ending Oct. 30, the company now expects to lose 14-19 cents a share, compared with its earlier estimates of a profit of 1-4 cents.

The company, which plans to report third-quarter results on Dec. 1, said it now sees sales of $225-$230 million, which reflects a fall in its comparable premium retail store sales of about 18- 21 percent.

Earlier, the company, whose larger rivals include Chico's FAS (CHS.N) and Ann Taylor Stores Corp (ANN.N), had expected a low single digit range rise in third-quarter sales, based on flat comparable premium retail store sales.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 3 cents a share on revenue of $278.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. [ID:nASA00U7H]

The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company's shares, which rallied by over 46 percent in the last three months, were down at $3.60 in trading after the bell. They closed at $5.36 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Shobhana Chadha in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)